Perception of Fiber Crafts

This is an excerpt from Marlborough Creative Fibre Guild's October 2007 newsletter. Our president Christine, who wrote this, is a fiber artists/felter. Creative Fibre is a guild for spinners, knitters, weavers and felters.

"Why is it that people can’t get their head around Creative Fibre? I was asked, yet again, by someone who should know better, if I was involved in the quilt exhibition coming up! It really annoys me, as I just don’t quilt. Not that I have anything against quilting, but I do something totally different. We should work on increasing our profile."

No, nobody is against quilting, or embroidery or sewing; in fact, we are interested in what others do with fiber/textile, and many of us enjoy these crafts as well.

This is part of the reason I keep signing up for exhibits with other art forms; I want to keep reminding folks that handweaving is alive and well in New Zealand. Tomorrow is the opening of the last show I'm involved in this year, and I'm putting in not a shawl, but an almost-made-to-order non-utilitarian piece.

This is a "ribbon" about 22cm wide and 10.2m long in 13 colors. Here you see the sedate end - the other end has teal and orange/pink bright yellow, among others. This end has a sewn seam with a dowel though it; the other end is fringed. I made three extra support dowels with foamy insulation strips in case it needs to "float".

Curator Andy
saw tiny cashmere scarves drying in my laundry, and asked for a "ribbon". He wanted something to make people look up as the venue has a six-meter ceiling, so I put on a 20-meter warp, but it was much slower weaving than I expected, (120cm a day maximum), and I ran out of time. Its coarse wool fibers flew all over, so the second half was woven with antihistamine and protective glasses. It's a good thing I didn't weave something longer, as the 10 meters took up nearly the length of the house to lie flat. I'm looking forward to see what Andy does with it.

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